Canadians like to think that the expansion into the West was more civilized here than in the United States -- this song will change that.

In "Four Horses", NDP MP Charlie Angus sings the agonizing story of John A. MacDonald's policy to starve First Nations peoples in order to make way for the Canadian Pacific Railway in the 1880s.

Angus was inspired by the book Clearing The Plains by James Daschuk, which details how food promised in Treaty No. 6 was withheld by Canadian officials in order to force aboriginals to move to appointed reserves.

At the time, MacDonald even boasted that First Nations peoples were being kept on the "verge of actual starvation" in an attempt to silence critics of the mounting cost of the railway, according to Daschuk.

MacDonald's policies were recently cited in an open letter urging the United Nations to declare Canada's treatment of its aboriginal peoples "genocide."

Angus told The Globe and Mail that MacDonald did many good things for Canada, but that we can no longer ignore "the policies that tried to destroy a people."

"Mr. Macdonald has been able to escape all that because we write our history as boring, that all our people were well-meaning and boring," Angus said to the Globe. "So that’s the whole line of the song: Forget what you were taught about the Medicine Line."

Angus, who is also a professional musician and HuffPost blogger, has been an outspoken critic of the Conservative government's approach to First Nations peoples. In 2011, he was among the first to shine light on the deplorable situation on the Attawapiskat reserve in his Northern Ontario riding. The emergency on the reserve captured the attention of the nation and is seen by many as the opening act of the Idle No More movement.

"Four Horses" is the first song off Angus' new record "Great Divide." Read all the lyrics below.

To Fort Qu'appelle came a Dapple Grey ​​​​As children coughed blood in the autumn rains Broke the treaty when the buffalo failed ​​​And fenced the land for the CP Rail.

There's four horses at the Great Divide
Forget what they taught about the medicine line
Like a storm on a distant sky
Just four horses at the Great Divide

I saw a black horse at Cut Knife Creek
But the great Poundmaker was a man of peace
He spared the soldiers true to his word
So they hung the braves at Fort Battleford

The Third Horse danced for the Great White Chief
Hunger is lesson that is so easy to teach
Kill a warrior you need a gun in hand
To break a people you need a bureaucrat man

There's four horses at the Great Divide
Forget what they taught you about the medicine line
Like a storm on a distant sky
Four horses at the Great Divide

A pale horse waits by the mission school
Progress they say can be so cruel
But the spirit lives on across the great north plains
And people are finding their voice again.

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  • Inuit children who lived too far away and had to stay at school during the summer at the Anglican Mission School in Aklavik, N.W.T. in 1941.

  • The blackboard on the left reads: "Thou Shalt Not Tell Lies." Cree students at the Anglican-run Lac la Ronge Mission School in Saskatchewan in 1945.

  • Sisters of the Soeurs du Sacré-Coeur d'Ottawa and students on the steps of the school on the Pukatawagan Reserve in Manitoba in 1960.

  • La Tuque Residential School's hockey team at a tournament held during the Quebec Winter Carnival in 1967.

  • Canada's first and only Indian Air Cadet Unit, "No. 610" in 1956. The boys are from the Roman Catholic-run Williams Lake, B.C., Residential School.

  • Chemistry class at Kamloop's Residential School in 1959

  • Students play pool at the Norway House Residential School in Manitoba in 1960.

  • Students at a dormitory of the Shingwauk Residential School in Ontario in 1960

  • The carpentry shop at a Kamloops, B.C., residential school in the late 1950s.

  • Children hold letters that spell "Goodbye" at the Fort Simpson, N.W.T, Residential School in 1922.

  • Undated photo of a group of students and parents from the Saddle Lake Reserve in Alberta en route to the Methodist-operated Red Deer Industrial School.

  • St-Michael's Residential School in 1959

  • Shingle Point Residential School & Home For Boys, Mackenzie District, N.W.T. in 1930.

  • Students from the residential school in Moose Factory Island in Ontario attend a service at St. Thomas Anglican Church in 1946.

  • Aboriginal children at the Roman Catholic-run Fort Providence Residential Mission School in the Northwest Territories in 1929.

  • An undated photo of a dog team carrying a hay load near the residential school at Fort Resolution, N.W.T.

  • Undated photo of children cutting logs at the residential school in Fort Resolution, N.W.T.

  • Undated photo of boys cutting hay at the residential school in Duck Lake, Sask.

  • An undated photos of aboriginal students attending the Metlakatla, B.C., Residential School.

  • Two Métis children with an Inuit child at the All Saints Residential School, in Shingle Point, Yukon, in 1930.

  • Students at the Onion Lake Catholic Residential School in 1950.

  • Adeline Raciette amd Emily Bone study on the lawn of the Assiniboia Residential School in Manitoba in 1958.

  • Students share dish-washing chores at Portage La Prairie Residential School in Manitoba in 1950.

  • Fort Qu'Appelle Industrial School in Saskatchewan in 1884.

  • Children at the Fort Resolution, N.W.T., residential school in 1928.

  • The Alert Bay Mission School in British Columbia in 1885.